Greece is located in South East Europe and borders with Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. Greece is well known as a holiday destination with more than 227 islands and receives approximately 30 million international visitors each year. A great place to study and at the same time explore Greece’s unique landscape.
In a historic point of view, Greece is the birthplace of democracy, of the Olympic Games, with great Heroes and amazing mythology. Greece is also homeland of famous philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Pythagoras, Epicurus, and others.
The official and national language of Greece is Greek. Even if you find and choose to study in English, it is important to learn as much Greek language as you can. This is a skill that will look great on your CV/resume!
Greece is a great study abroad destination combining a multicultural, relaxed, and open society that will make your studies memorable. Moreover, studying in Greece is a quite affordable choice compared to other European study destinations. There are both public and private universities that offer multilingual courses (Bachelor and Master’s degrees) based on a collaboration framework between Greek and international institutions. For example, you can acquire a UK degree while studying in a Greek private university (that has a formal affiliation with the respective UK university).
There are currently 24 public universities and around 140 Master programs that are being taught either in Greek or English. Do note however, that there is a student limit for each academic program and that number is decided by the Ministry of Education. The most popular cities to study is the capital of Athens and the second largest city Thessaloniki. There are also universities that are located to popular island destinations such as Crete.
The Greek higher education system provides Bachelor, Master’s and Doctorate degrees:
The duration of the majority of Bachelor's degrees is four years (with the exception of medicine, dentistry or engineering that take five or six years to complete).
If you wish to apply for a bachelor’s course in Greece it is critical that you will prove that neither yourself nor your parents have a Greek nationality or citizenship. Then, you may submit the required documentation to the Ministry of Education and complete an application entry form, stating which university programs you wish to attend.
All undergraduate programs are taught in Greek and as a foreign student you must prove your language competency during your application. The best way to acquire such a qualification is by acquiring one either from Greek public university or sit the KPG national language exam.
The Greek education grading system for all degree levels is based on a numerical scale of 1-10:
Master’s degrees range from one to two years. In the last few years, more and more programs are offered in English as well. A student can have the option of choosing whether to study in English or Greek.
For the public universities the main entry criteria are:
Doctorate studies take around five to six years. To apply for a Doctorate degree, you must have a Master’s degree. Every year, each university department publishes its own entry requirements.
Access to higher education in Greece is regulated by the Ministry of Education and it differs by subject and level of education. In order to be accepted in a public university you need to have acquired a general university entrance qualification and your performance level acquired in the general entrance exam (the same applies to foreign degree-seeking students).
Candidates have to fill out a study application form with their preferred institutions. The free and available study places are administered by the Ministry of Education (and depends on the number of applicants and the national score exam results).
As we mentioned previously, Greek language skills are also necessary, and especially at an undergraduate level. Master’s courses can be available in the English language. Competency of the Greek language can be granted after having taken the special language examinations for foreign students by universities in Athens and Thessaloniki (twice a year - in June and September / October).
In order to submit your application please note the following:
If you are a citizen of the EU, the EEA and Switzerland then you do not need to apply for a student visa. However, if you plan to stay longer than three months (90 days), you will need a residence permit. Do also make sure that you have a valid passport during your stay in Greece.
If you are non-EU/EEA/EFTA national, then you may be able to apply for a student visa.
The Process of Getting your Student Visa
Having secured a place at a university, you need then to apply for your student visa. Please do this, some months in advance and before your arrival in Greece as it is a process that might require some months to be completed. It would be quite useful (and if possible) to either visit your nearest Greek Embassy and ask for information or have a look at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
The type of visa required for third-country nationals pursuing studies in Greece is the National-D category visa.
One of the top reasons to carry out your undergraduate study in Greece is that tuition fees are quite low and in general students from European countries do not have to pay for tuition fees when studying in the public universities.
However, many Master’s degrees they charge tuition fees and those apply to everyone (whether you are a Greek Citizen, from Europe or from a third-country nationals).
In general terms and in public universities (depending on the university, department, and academic level) for non-European students are expected to pay:
When it comes to studying in private institutions the tuition fees are much higher and can reach up to 10,000 Euros or more per annum. Make sure you visit the university’s website for the latest and exact tuition fees.
It is imperative to remind you that if you wish to study in Greece you should be able to provide sufficient proof of financial support whilst you are there. There are however, some popular sources of funding.
The cost of living in Greece, and compared to other European countries, is quite reasonable. When it comes to the student accommodation, please note the following:
In terms of living costs: